Last updated on September 5th, 2023 at 12:00 pm
With the price of gas being so high these days, you want to ensure that your vehicle is getting its maximum range out of a tank of gas.
Planning a road trip? It’s important to know how many miles you can travel on a full tank of gas and what you can do to improve fuel economy.
How many miles a full tank of gas will last depends on a variety of factors which I will explain in this article.
Keep reading to learn more.
How Many Miles Does A Full Tank Of Gas Last?
Although there are many variables affecting the actual fuel range of a vehicle, on average a full tank of gas will last around 300 miles. Some vehicles will only be able to get 200 miles and some can achieve 400 or more. You can expect to drive more miles on a tank of gas with a hybrid vehicle.
Things that affect how many miles a full tank will last
There are several items that contribute to how many miles you can drive on a full tank of gas. They include:
- Vehicle type – size and weight
- Gas tank size
- Driving style
- City vs highway
- Engine type
- Road conditions
- Fuel and air filters
- Fuel injectors
- Oil changes
- Tire type, condition, and pressure
Vehicle type – size and weight
As you know, not all vehicles are the same with respect to fuel economy. Each vehicle type will have its own estimated range and miles per gallon as tested by the vehicle manufacturer.
A small compact vehicle will generally have better range and fuel economy compared to a larger vehicle. A truck will normally have lower fuel economy but better range than some cars as they have larger gas tanks.
The weight of the vehicle also plays a role. Heavier cars, SUVs, and trucks are normally less fuel efficient that lighter vehicles. More weight means the engine has to work harder and will burn more fuel.
Gas tank size
The size of a vehicle’s gas tank also plays a role in determining how many miles you can drive on a full tank of gas. Larger gas tanks will hold more fuel and therefore can travel farther than the same vehicle with a smaller tank.
But this will be vehicle specific. For example, an SUV with a 20 gallon gas tank may or may not travel more miles than a car with a 13 gallon gas tank. But the same SUV with the 20 gallon gas tank can drive further than the same SUV with a 15 gallon gas tank.
The way you drive your vehicle will have an effect on fuel economy. If you are an aggressive driver and always pushing the limits of your vehicle, you will not receive the range that you would get if you were a non aggressive driver.
More aggressive driving = less range and less MPG
City vs highway driving
Whenever you purchase a new vehicle, the statistics for fuel economy will show a different number for city MPG and highway MPG.
Driving on the highway will give you better fuel economy and therefore increased range.
City driving will give you less fuel economy and less range. This is due to the constant starting and stopping in traffic, lights, and stop signs.
Heavy traffic in the city will cause a large reduction in the amount of miles a vehicle can travel on a full tank of gas.
Normally larger engines will burn more gas and therefore lower the fuel range and fuel economy. Smaller vehicles with smaller engines can expect more range when compared to the same vehicle with a larger engine. That’s not always the case, but in general larger engines burn more fuel.
Road conditions are a contributing factor when determining how many miles your car will get on a full tank of gas. Roads that are flat and smooth provide better driving conditions and your vehicle will get better mileage. Roads that are in rough shape and possibly full of potholes will have a negative effect on fuel range as the vehicle will be constantly changing driving styles to battle the poor roads.
Fuel and air filters
It’s important to perform routine maintenance on any vehicle to improve fuel economy. Part of that maintenance is to replace the fuel and air filters on schedule as recommended by the manufacturer. Allowing these filters to become clogged and dirty over time will cause your vehicle to perform poorly resulting in lower fuel economy and overall mileage range for a full tank of gas.
Fuel injectors also need to be inspected and cleaned or replaced during maintenance. Dirty fuel injectors will have a negative effect on range and fuel economy.
Regular oil changes are one of the most important maintenance items to perform on any vehicle. Normally oil changes are completed every 3,000 or 5,000 miles and will keep the oil clean and free of particles and dirt. Dirty oil that has not been changed regularly will cause an engine to work harder and have a negative effect on fuel range and economy.
Tire type, condition, and pressure
All vehicles have a recommended tire size and pressure from the manufacturer. Not only is driving with improper tires a safety hazard, but it can have an effect on fuel economy.
For example, using tires that have a deep tread such as a winter tire, will result in less fuel economy when compared to an all season or summer tire.
The condition of the tire also plays a role. If the tires are worn down, you won’t get a good grip of the road. If the tires are under inflated, the vehicle will have to work harder to maintain a certain speed causing a reduction in fuel economy.
How many gallons is a full tank?
The number of gallons a full tank will hold depends on the size of the gas tank. Many averaged size cars will hold around 13-15 gallons and larger SUVs or trucks will hold around 23-37 gallons.
What is the normal MPG for an average vehicle?
As mentioned, the range and MPG of a certain vehicle can vary. But on average, most vehicles will get close to 24 MPG. As vehicles improve and technology gets better, expect this number to improve.
How to calculate fuel MPG
As your vehicle ages, it may not get the same fuel economy as it did when brand new. You may want to periodically check the vehicle’s MPG which can be done by some simple math.
- Using the odometer, check the number of miles driven on a full tank of gas. Either reset the odometer before your trip or write down the starting and finishing miles.
- Fill the tank with fuel and note the quantity.
- Divide the number of miles driven by the amount of fuel used and this will tell you the vehicle’s MPG.
Miles driven: 350
Fuel used: 12 Gallons
350/12 = 29.16 MPG
Examples of fuel range and fuel economy per vehicle
To give you a better idea of how many miles a full tank of gas will last, here are some examples of vehicles in different classes.
- 2022 Kia Rio – Tank size – 11.9 gal – Range 439 – MPG – 37
- 2022 Honda Civic- Tank size – 12.4 gal – Range 440 – MPG – 35
- 2022 Mini Cooper – Tank size – 11.6 gal – Range 435 – MPG – 30
- 2022 BMW 3 Series – Tank size – 15.6 gal – Range – 483 – MPG – 31
- 2022 Ford F150 – Tank size – 23 gal – Range 483 – MPG – 21
- 2022 Nissan Rogue – Tank size – 14.5 gal – Range 471 – MPG – 32.5